While immigrants and working class folks in my neighborhood are selling their homes or are forced out by quickly escalating rents, the Mega Mall has sat empty on Milwaukee Avenue.
When we moved here 45 years ago the building was a home improvement center. This was long before there were three Home Depots within a mile or so.
Then for decades it was the Mega Mall which was kind of an incubator for small scale retail. It was made up of stalls that had as much of a feeling of a Mexico City street market as north side Chicago.
In recent years it has stood empty.
Now another multi-story rental and retail building is taking its place. Another giant construction crane will tower over the neighborhood. One of the developments that precedes it on Milwaukee will be charging $3900 a month rent.
Before the Mega Mall is torn down next week, artists have taken it over.
Photos: Fred Klonsky